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Hospital officials credited the federal health law for the improvement. “The decrease in charity care is primarily attributable to the increase in Medicaid patients due to the expansion of Medicaid eligibility in the State of Ohio and the resulting decrease in the number of charity patients,” the hospital’s year-end financial statement reported.

That 40 percent drop spotlights a trend in how payments are changing for all providers since the health law rolled out the Medicaid expansion and subsidies that help some lower-income people purchase policies on the new insurance marketplaces, said John Palmer, spokesperson for Ohio Hospital Association.

“Now that you’re starting to see that shift from uninsured or underserved on over into health care programs such as Medicaid and the exchange, that has had a good impact,” he said. “And, obviously, it is reflective of what hospitals are experiencing with uncompensated care in the areas of charity care especially.”

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Kaiser Health News

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